Friday, September 28, 2012

Hiking in the Bauges

I'm in the Chambery / Annecy region for a few days break and had a nice hike today. My girlfriend took the train into Lyon for the day and I headed into the Bauges (a mountain range in the northern pre-Alps). 

Up here, the mountain ranges - the Bauges, the Chartreuse, the Vercors are a bit like castles, surrounded by moat like valleys. Climb up the steep castle walls, and inside there are relatively flat fields and forests, dominated by isolated peaks. During the second world war, their natural defenses made them strong points of the resistance; unfortunately, they were also the scene of terrible reprisals just after D-day.

I climbed one of the highest peaks in the Bauges and throughly enjoyed my hike and the contrast to the southern alps. Greener and softer scenery, cows instead of sheep, fall is further advanced, a bit more chocolate boxy. The last 200m was very steep grass (I wouldn't have liked to slip) and, at the summit, I had a wonderful view of Mount Blanc, a little further east.

More pics here and also some of Chambery and Annecy - two very cute towns.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Europeans

There are flying comps - paragliding or hang-gliding - every year in St Andre. This year it's the turn of the European Paragliding Championships for the first two weeks of September. 

I've been worried that the poor flying season would continue into the competition and, so far, I'm afraid it has. The first three days were cancelled; the weather wasn't terrible and there was flying to be had, but not enough time to safely run a task. Things looked similar today, but fortunately they managed to get a task in. I was working and went to make myself a cup of tea, when I looked out my window and saw about 60 gliders all coming into goal. I'm glad they've got started, and I hope the weather improves for them. I'm afraid I forgot to take some pics!